No 26 - 2005
Still reeling, still confused by the strangeness,
hunting sun-shy streets at night for a drink.
Looking for a bridge between our two worlds.
The air seems savage, too close and too damp.
The heat, the lights, the language, threatening
to cast us adrift. We seek an anchor,
a tether, to tie us to these people,
to catch our thoughts before they drift away
on a breeze of spices, birds and neon.
Signs unfamiliar, alphabet abstract,
we are not armed with the key to this place.
But then a beacon, a light in the dark,
like a motorway cone among orchids:
the words seem far too banal: ‘Bar Above’
too functional, too dull, soulless and grey.
Our holy grail is somewhat lacking verve.
Searching for stairs now, entrance to our shrine,
instead we find steel, sombre opacity
crouching inert, a Venus flytrap sits.
Fresh fear now, fresh doubts in our minds are sown.
I’m sure I remember gangsters in films:
Lift doors open on a hail of bullets,
the informant is dead, fell for the trap.
But yet we climb in, our need is too great
(though mostly down to sense of adventure,
the thrill of the unknown calling us forth)
A longer ride would not have prepared us
for what was framed by opening lift doors,
but the few seconds we spent travelling
were certainly not enough to imagine
half a dozen bunny girls with warm smiles
and a dozen more businessmen with drinks.
Our bunny hosts approached, pleased to see us,
and in the true version of this story
we returned to the street, none the wiser,
lift doors closing on that world forever.
But maybe it would have been better if
this poem had ended, us in Japan,
guns on the table, bunnies at our side,
springing a trap on our informant friend,
greeting him with bullets as he steps from the lift.
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The